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Working in Hospital That Charges Patients a Lot of Money: Valid?

12 May, 2018
Q I currently have a job working in a hospital. The job has a lot of hard work and I make decent pay. However, American healthcare is extremely expensive. Patients are often billed about $25,000 for staying in the hospital for just a few days. This is true for most hospitals in America. Is it permissible for me to work in the hospital even though the hospital participates in riba by charging patients outrageous amounts of money?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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In this fatwa:

The pay, against honest work, of every worker who does not write a contract of interest-based loan or set an exorbitant price for an ingredient service or item, is haram or has a touch of haram.


In his response to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:

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 Exorbitant pricing is haram but it is not riba (interest). Unfortunately this is the way medical services are priced in America and this comes out of the monopolist system of this profession.

There are many hospitals in America that really do not make profit and many are parts of non-profit organizations.

The system is too complicated to allow us to finger point to any component of it as the reason for high prices. But all of it is unfair, yet necessary for everyone.

With all the above, I do not think that the pay, against honest work, of every worker who does not do a haram per se (such as writing a contract of interest-based loan or setting (making the decision of) an exorbitant price for an ingredient service or item), is haram or has a touch of haram.

Almighty Allah knows best.

About Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf
Dr. Monzer Kahf is a professor and consultant/trainer on Islamic banking, finance, Zakah, Awqaf, Islamic Inheritance, Islamic estate planning, Islamic family law, and other aspects of Islamic economics, finance, Islamic transactions (Mu'amalat). Dr. Monzer Kahf is currently Professor of Islamic Finance & Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey